Raul Santana Flores Salinas, our beloved father and patriarch of the family, transitioned to eternal life on July 11, 2017, following a short illness. Raul was born July 26, 1930, in Port Arthur, Texas. His parents, Jesus Salinas and Josefa Salinas and various brothers and sisters predecease him.
Raul graduated from high school and before pursuing higher education, was drafted and joined the United States Army where he was a radioman. Upon returning from active duty in Korea, he met and married Joan Roberta Slamka and they lived in Lansing, Michigan, where they raised their three children, Raul, Josefa, and Timothy. Both parents stayed committed to the growth of their children. Later in life Raul had another son, Anthony.
Desiring a larger audience for his genuine wit and conversational abilities he earned a master’s degree in English Literature from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
While completing his degree Raul also worked at Melling Forge and expanded his service to others by becoming a union labor negotiator. Raul later moved to San Antonio, Texas, to be closer to his family who still reside in Mexico.
Raul had a passion for teaching and an unwavering commitment to literacy. He believed very strongly that early reading was the key to unlocking the door for lifelong learning and exploration.
After years of service to the greater San Antonio Community College District as an English Literature professor, Raul retired and spent the next decade writing novels, painting and visiting his children every year. Being a connoisseur of fine experiences and all things exquisite, it would prove the perfect place for such a refined Mexican gentleman to thrive and live out his dreams.
Anyone who knew Raul knew how much he absolutely loved to write novels about his experiences in the military and explore the world through his imagination in writing. The brotherhood he enjoyed in Korea stayed with him his entire life and he never stopped looking for the men from his battalion.
Equally important to Raul was his desire to make a difference in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Raul’s passion remained deeply rooted in education. He felt the two greatest gifts he could give to a child were the ability to read and a desire to learn.
Those he leaves behind will cherish Raul’s life and memories. His family includes: one daughter, Josefa Salinas (Margie); three sons: Raul, Timothy and Anthony; seven grandchildren: Paress, Cristal, Andria, Melan, Timothy, Sophia and Emiliana; five great-grandchildren: Ryan, Sabella, Mya, Gavin and Maximus; his sisters, Rosario and Amparo; brothers, Chacho and Braulio; and also many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, colleagues, and friends.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at St. Joseph Cemetery, 2520 W. Willow Rd., Lansing, Michigan 48917. The viewing will take place on Friday July 28th from 6-8 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St., Lansing.
Immediately following the Saturday service, an afternoon reception will be held at the Los Tres Amigos restaurant, 5010 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing.